Ignore the Puppy
Staring is a challenge in dog language that can stress some pets, especially from kids that are at a dogs eye level. But when ignored, pups are more likely to be intrigued enough to investigate on their own.
So challenge your toddler or older child to an “ignore the pup” game, and see how long they can pretend the puppy is invisible. In most cases, a confident canine will eventually approach. It may approach and retreat quickly, but will likely approach again if it doesnt get any negative reaction.
Teach Kids Limits
Before allowing them near a dog, ask kids to practice petting a stuffed toy or the child’s own arm or head. Young kids should be taught that dogs aren’t stuffed animals, and can be hurt and lash out from pulled tails or ears.
Another great activity to do with your toddler before puppy comes home is to practice being gentle petting stuffed animals. Hold his hand in yours and gently stroke the toy together. Practice keeping his hand flat, without gripping the fur and without hitting.
If your toddler is a little older, you might enjoy using this Reward Chart for polite behavior around the new puppy.
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How To Train a Puppy When You Have Kids
You must have heard or read that at least once in your life. The vast majority of pet parents will testify that this holds true. Perhaps, the best example to illustrate this would be to observe the relationship that dogs share with kids. Your pet and your child(ren) can make for a very exciting combination (there are few bonds that are as pure, trust me!).
However, before that happens it is crucial that you train your dog. Of course, you will also need to teach your kids how to behave around dogs once they reach a certain age, but this blog is not centered around that. Here are 10 helpful ways that you can train your dog to play with kids safely.
Just as with human beings, a dogs habits are best formed during the initial years. Between the ages of 8 weeks and 16 weeks, puppies go through a development phase that is vital in shaping their future selves. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pup encounters as many new situations and people as possible during this period, especially to family members as this will be easier and will give the dog a good dose of confidence.
Generally, that will prepare them for what lies ahead. For those of you who want to train an adult dog, rest assured that this is still very possible. However, the process must be more gradual on your part as compared to getting a puppy to socialize.
It is possible that your dog is afraid of kids; don’t force your pet to approach your kid. Let the meeting happen naturally. If you force your dog to meet your child, then your dog may develop some resentment towards your child and that is the last thing you want. Look here to gain a better understanding of your dogs feelings and social cues.
Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways in which you can train your dog to behave better around kids. Encourage good behavior from your pet with attention, praise, and treats. Your dog will start associating your kid(s) with good things if you do this often enough. Once this happens, they will naturally start behaving well around children.
Dogs tend to do better around children if there is an escape route. If you crate train your dog in a manner that makes them happy and comfortable in a crate, then they will know that they have their own safe space to go to whenever they feel the need for it. One caveat here is that you must ensure that your child knows that your dog’s crate is off-limits. Pair that with a treat-dispensing toy for crate time and you’re set for success!